Must-Know Rules For Awesome Event Email Marketing (Part 1)
Published on 25/05/2016
If you’ve been following our blogs, or are at all familiar with the Inflatable Temporary Structures we create for brands, you’ll be aware that we know a thing or two about creating spectacular, memorable and engaging events.
For our clients and ourselves, email marketing (as we’ve briefly explored here) plays a vital part in ensuring that events attracts the crowds they deserve.
With this in mind, we’ve compiled a detailed guide that outlines everything you need to know about the event email marketing process. This series will provide you with the means to a truly effective event email marketing plan.
So let’s get started.
Planning The Perfect Email Sequence
As with any email marketing strategy, automating emails to be delivered based on the fulfilment of certain criteria (such as clicking an embedded RSVP link, for example) is commonplace and effective when using to promote events. Constant communication with potential event attendees during your event lifecycle is a great way of building momentum and keeping your audience engaged.
But how can you get going with email automation workflows, and do you really need a working knowledge of complex software and inbound marketing practices?
The answer is simple: We’ll guide you through it.
Develop Your List
Before you kick off your automated email campaign activity, you’ll need to define the audiences you’re looking to attract to your event. Naturally, this will affect the tone and communication style within your emails.
Before this, you need to cover the fundamentals such as the number of attendees you can or wish to accommodate.
See, while not attracting enough attendees is often the number one concern for event marketers, being over capacity or selling-out of tickets too soon is a surefire way to leave a sour taste in the mouths of otherwise interested parties.
Generally speaking, you should expect 50% of your invite list (not purchased, unsegmented data) to RVSP “yes”. From this, you should then expect 30% to actually follow through and attend the event. Using this as guidance, you’ll be able to effectively determine the number of email invites you can expect to send to attract a great turnout at your event.
But who exactly are these individuals on your list?
For your emails to convert, you’ll need to conduct a basic level of data segmentation. Start with these fundamental criteria.
Defining your Emails
With the fundamentals out of the way, it’s time to focus on your email sequence.
Known simply as an email ‘workflow’ in marketing automation circles, email sequences enable you to plan out all of the communications for your event and manage your interaction with potential attendees.
The workflow should operate something like this:
Email 1 – The Invite
Unsurprisingly, your initial email should centre on one very specific goal – getting people to RSVP. Ideally, this will be sent at a time that provides your audience enough notice for people to attend, but isn’t so far in advance that building momentum or interest is like getting blood out of a stone. Given this balance depends entirely on the industry you’re operating in. We suggest you adopt a trial and error approach.
The email message itself should focus on providing a succinct overview of exactly what the event is offering. People are busy, so the email needs to convey the event’s value proposition as quickly and effectively as possible. The narrative of the email should also direct readers toward a prominent call to action button (CTA) that allows them to RSVP, register interest or apply for early bird tickets with absolute ease.
In instances where you find that email recipients are clicking the CTAs, you can set up an automated reminder email that details further reasons why the event is worth attending. Sometimes the reminder can be the subtle nudge those potential attendees sitting on the fence require.
Email 2 – The Confirmation
After you’ve successfully secured some RSVPs or ticket purchases from your initial invite emails, it is best practice to follow up with an immediate confirmation email stating something along the lines of ‘thank you for RSVPing’. This is an opportune moment to provide additional details about the event and build anticipation.
In the case of RSVPs where there is still no guarantee of actual attendance, the confirmation email is great time to provide recipients with a way to add the event to their personal calendar – a tactic proven to increase the probability of attendance by 200%.
Email 3 – The Reminder
So your event is almost on the horizon. You’ve been building momentum with relentless social media activity (such as dedicated hashtags), following our engagement tips and even employing your own growth hacking strategies. Great work.
Not so fast though.
There’s still more you can do to maximise the promotion of your event.
Specifically, we suggest you send an email three days before your event that reiterates the basic details, provides a sneak peek of what attendees can expect, and announces some new, exciting information that is likely to be the final push required to shift those last few available tickets or places.
Email 4 – The Follow-Up
Finally, it’s time to follow-up after your successful event. To give your attendees time to bask in its greatness (and to make the emails feel more personal), we suggest you wait one to two days after the event before following up with a thank you email.
Thank you emails are more than just best practice. They’re an opportunity to continue engaging with guests and secure ticket purchase or RSVPs for the next event through reduced pricing or other similar incentives.
You may also want to provide links to photos from the event or send content that summarises the key findings from the event. This will help maintain the buzz and momentum around the event (which will undoubtedly incentivise non-attendees to attend the next time).
The follow-up email can also be used as an opportunity to gather feedback from those that attended, or even contact those that couldn’t make it to let them know what they missed out on. It’s then up to you to make sure your next event is even more memorable and awe-inspiring.
Using one of our renowned Inflatable Temporary Structures is a great way to do this. If you’re looking to take your event to the next level, you can find all the information on Baconinflate products and services you need by contacting your nearest Global Partner or our UK HQ.
In the meantime, keep your eyes peeled for part 2 and 3 of this email event marketing series.